WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The Warner Robins Police Department is telling residents of this city, located near Macon, Ga., to ignore any correspondence they receive from a Maryland-based company the city contracts with to manage its false alarm program.
In July 2015, the city adopted an alarm ordinance that instituted fines for multiple false alarms and established penalty amounts. Later that year the city contracted with Public Safety Corp. to administer its CryWolf software for false alarm management. However, a year later police suspended the implementation of the program after residents complained about invasive questioning.
Under terms of the contract, Public Safety Corp. would get a cut every time a business or homeowner was fined, according to WMAZ-TV. But, by July of 2016 the City put the plan on hold saying CryWolf was asking intrusive questions.
“They would call and ask questions such as, ‘Do you have guns in the house?’ And you know being in the community we’re in and a community just in the south in general, a lot of people find that intrusive, they want to understand why this is another government look into what’s going on in my home,” Evans said .
Police and the City say they never approved those questions.
Then, this month the company sent out letters asking people to re-register their alarms so police have now told the public to disregard any communications from CryWolf, according to a press release police sent last week.
“The Warner Robins Police Department does not agree with CryWolf Alarm Solutions’ recent business practices with regard to our community at this time,” the release said. “We also do not support their policy to ask our residents invasive questions or misrepresent our department. We did not authorize their company to notify our residents to renew their alarm system registrations.”
City Attorney Jim Elliott told WMAZ last week his office is now involved.
“My office has been asked to look at the contract and to look at what’s taken place and we’re still gathering information about communications between the city and the company and we’ll get some direction from elected officials and those sorts of things,” Elliott said.
Elliott, the City Clerk and the Warner Robins’ CFO stated the City has not paid CryWolf, since its revenue was going to come from the collected fines.
Elliott said if elected officials vote to try and exit the contract, the false alarm ordinance would still remain in the City’s code and would probably have to be revised.
Due to complications with CryWolf, the original ordinance passed in 2015 has not been implemented.
The Warner Robins Police Department also wanted to warn the public not to give out information to any other company claiming to be in business with Police to monitor false alarms.
Following is the WMAZ-TV report: